When Bangladesh batted after winning the toss in Sunday’s first ODI against the touring Indian team, the decision of skipper Mushfiqur Rahim appeared imprudent. The Bangladesh batsmen were not able to contend with the accurate bowling attack and played with too much caution. At the end of the 4th over, Bangladesh had scored only 5 runs and Tamim Iqbal was already in the pavilion. Anamul Haque replaced Tamim Iqbal but he couldn’t cut much ice either. On the other side, opener Mominul Haque was also struggling to find gaps. With free scoring restricted, India built pressure on the two batsmen. Unluckily for India, Mohit Sharma suffered an injury and had to hobble out of the field early after bowling only 3 overs and 4 balls. He probably sprained his leg and Suresh Raina strangely called KKR wicketkeeper Robin Uthappa to bowl the remaining two deliveries. Sharma came back later but he could only bowl two more overs. Regardless, the other bowlers maintained a tight noose on the Bangla batsmen. At the end of ten overs, Bangladesh could only manage 34/1 with Amanul Haque doing the bulk of scoring. His 24 scored off 33 balls had 5 hits to the fence. Mominul Haque, who had scored 6 off 16 balls, played only two more balls before he fell in the same way as Tamim Iqbal had. An express delivery from Yadav took the edge of his bat and Wriddhiman Saha made no mistake. Captain Mushfiqur walked in with Bangladesh tottering at 35 for 2 in the 11th over. But the Bangladesh captain did not begin with a bang. He took his time to settle down and waited until sometime to lead the Bangladeshi charge. His approach also helped Anamul Haque and the two took the third wicket stand to 52 before Anamul Haque got out in the 23d over for a patiently compiled 44 off 60 balls. Anamul’s wicket was the first international wicket for debutant Parvez Rasool. The experienced Shakib Al Hasan joined Musfiqur in the middle but there were no immediate fireworks. After adding 47 runs with Shakib, Musfiqur fell as Parvez Rasool’s second victim for a 63-ball 59, including 3 fours and 3 sixes. Shakib raised the tempo of scoring, first in the company of Mahmudullah and then with Nasir Hussain. But Shakib departed in the 42nd over for 52 off 58 balls with the team score standing at 199/5. There were small cameos from later order batsmen as Bangladesh ended 50 overs with 272/9, which was a challenging score after the slow start. Indian bowlers were belted heavily in the last few overs. Umesh Yadav, who had kept a tight line early couldn’t sustain the rhythm and his line went haywire in the murderous Dhaka heat.
When India began the 273-run chase, Ajinkya Rahane and Robin Uthappa opened the innings. They played sensible cricket until the score reached 99/0 in 16 overs. Uthappa, who had already completed his fifty fell on the first ball of the 17th over with India requiring 174 from 33.5 overs. For someone, who played his last ODI for India six years ago, it was a great comeback, thanks to his wonderful form in the IPL. Cheteshwar Pujara was the next man after Uthappa but he also brought heavy rains with him. No play was possible for nearly three hours and when the skies cleared India’s revised D/L target was 150 in 26 overs. When Pujara got out, India had reached 100 and they needed just 50 more in 56 balls. Raina came to join Rahane and the two of them carried the score to 135 before Rahane departed for a solidly compiled 64 off 70 balls to make way for Ambati Rayudu. India reached the target without any further hassles with 7 balls still remaining. For India, Akshar Patel and Parvez Rasool made their debuts and did reasonably well in their assigned roles. Ajinkya Rahane was declared the player of the match.
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